UPDATE May 11. 2013 the West 3rd Street Bridge is now open. Doesn’t matter. West 14th Street through Tremont is the best way to go.
The official route of the Ohio to Erie Trail remains blocked due to the West 3rd Street Bridge being closed. (see the workaround map here) The Abbey Street bridge is now open in both directions. The new bikeway pedestrian section of the Hope Memorial Bridge is complete and open. Construction of the new Interstate 90 bridge is well underway and continues to make routes unpredictable with roads opening and closing daily.
Navigating from the Ohio to Erie Trail head at Harvard Road to and around downtown Cleveland (see description and map here) by bicycle is a bit complicated because of the Cuyahoga River. Cuyahoga translates to crooked river and it is very crooked. The land around the river, known as “the flats” is a large pit and you need to know how to get down in there, find a way to cross the river and then back up and out the other side. There is a lot of industry and few roads. Or you can go over the flats and the river on one of two bridges: The Hope Memorial Bridge (AKA Lorain Carnegie Bridge) or the Veterans Memorial Bridge (AKA Detroit Superior Bridge). Both of these bridges have a bikeway that is separate from vehicle traffic.
The Ohio to Erie Trail accesses downtown via the West 3rd Street Bridge. The route travels from Harvard Road, along Jennings Road and behind Steelyard Commons and exits the bike path onto Quigly Road which brings you to the West 3rd Street Bridge which is persitantly closed. The purported plan is to open the West 3rd Street Bridge very soon so that the Columbus Road Bridge can be repaired. However the projected date has passed.
The igotabike workaround route has you continue on the bike path behind Steelyard Commons and under Quigley Road and up a small hill into Tremont on West 14th Street and across the Abbey Avenue Bridge to access the Hope Memorial Bridge. In 2012 the Abbey Avenue Bridge was under construction and was closed. It is now open. There are bike lines on the approach to the bridge and plenty of room on the bridge. Also in 2012 The Hope Memorial Bridge was under construction and they added a bikeway to the north side of the bridge which is now open. If you are traveling east you are expected to cross the six lanes of traffic on both sides of the bridge to access the bikeway.